sail-world.com -- NZ Olympic 49er medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke update
NZ Olympic 49er medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke update
Sat, 1 Dec 2012
Peter Burling and Balir Tuke, Silver medalists at the 2012 Olympics in the Olympic Skiff (49er) report
We have now both been back in NZ for nearly a month and are looking forward to this weekend’s Sir Peter Blake regatta at Torbay. We’ll have our Olympic boat set up and plan to give a lucky junior competitor a high speed sail.
Below are a few of the things that have been keeping us busy since our last update mid-September...
The Americas Cup World series in San Fran was a lot of fun - Peter learned quickly on the helm of Team Koreas AC45 to manage some good positions including leading the Super Sunday final race midway. Blair’s week in San Fran was spent soaking up the Oracle TeamUSA compound - great being able to see how such a big campaign functions.
Next Blair headed to Florida for the A-class catamaran Worlds, cut short after only two days racing when Hurricane Sandy hit. An expensive 5 races but crowned Youth World champion. Blair's boat is now on its way back to NZ where he will race this summer.
After San Fran, Pete headed for China (via Vancouver and Ireland) He was tactician on the winning boat at the China cup for Team Vatti -a mainly kiwi team competing in a 30-strong international fleet of one-design Beneteau 40.7
We’ve been busy in our home regions since our return.
Blair was guest speaker at the Kaipara Sports Awards and the Northland Secondary Sports Awards. Visiting Northland Schools has been a highlight, including Kawakawa Primary School and Mangonui School, as was being named Far North Sportsman of the year.
Peter was guest speaker at Tauranga Boys College sports awards dinner, a little different from 4 years ago when he was MC at the event as school Sports Captain. Peter was named Bay of Plenty Sportsman of the Year.
In between Peter managed to fit in the Auckland 18' skiff championships, christened his new Foiling Moth in Tauranga and had fun kite boarding on the windy days.
We were lucky to be invited along to meet royalty at the Millennium Institute - Prince Charles and Camilla on their NZ tour. Was hard not to speak like a royal when they looked and sounded so proper ...
We were at Government house with Sir Jerry Mateparae (NZ Governor General) to celebrate NZs Olympic success and farewell Dave Currie in recognition of all the wonderful work he had done for the NZ Olympic Team. We were also presented with commemorative London 2012 Olympics medallist pins.
: A fantastic day was had at the Yachting NZ Excellence Awards last Friday. It started at noon with a celebrity 'TV3' vs 'The Crowd Goes Wild' sailing match-race. Followed by setting up our Olympic boat for the first time since the Olympics. (The 49er is still all decked out in the Olympic regalia) It was nice to share our medals/sign autographs with fans and catch up with NZ’s other sailing Olympic medallists from yester year.
The evening’s guest speaker, Sir Russell Coutts, was very complementary about NZ sailing. Maxi yacht legend Neville Crichton presented us with our Performance Awards on the night. We were also awarded Life Membership of YNZ. Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie deservedly won the Sailor of the Year Award for their Gold medal in London.
Last Sunday it was great to lead out Auckland’s Santa parade in beautiful sunshine with a handful of other Olympians. NZ Olympic sponsors Volkswagen and ANZ supplied our float. Being part of the Volkswagen medal event tour as they launched the new Beetle celebrating NZ’s Olympic success at dealerships has been fun at Q&A sessions in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.
What is next ...
We’re both keen to compete in the 'Red Bull Youth America's Cup' in AC45 wing sailed cats next September in San Fran – a selection of NZ Under 25 sailors has just started training in an Extreme 40 catamaran. Pete’s experience at helming for Team Korea on the AC45 is a real bonus.
Blair will be part of the crew for leading Bay of Islands' offshore skipper Ray Hasler on Rikki, a Reichal/Pugh 42 footer, in this year's Sydney to Hobart race. It's a great opportunity to learn from Ray and improve skills. Being part of the delivery voyage leaving this Thursday from Kerikeri will help with the familiarisation of the boat.
In January Blair will be in Christchurch competing in the A-class nationals while Pete will be on Lake Macquarie (Sydney) for the Australian Foiling Moth nationals.
It’s been fun for both of us sailing a variety of other types of yachts broadening our sailing skills which will turn us into better Olympic class sailors. Our 49er plan has been set for Rio Olympics 2016 with our first goals to be ticked off at the Sail Auckland regatta in February.